If you are reading this, you may find it difficult to be a parent. Well, we admit, it is nowadays. Then the question pops up: how parenting today is different and harder? There are tons of answers to that question. Even most parents might not wanna hear some of them, maybe it is because we are afraid of the changes this world has undergone in a few decades.
However, not only today’s parents are finding as intense pressure in dealing with their children. Parenting is harder not for this but for every generation who existed on this earth. But also, it should be fair if we say that this time is a lot harder than the previous generation. But let us ask a question to ourselves: Is not accepting the changes in the world really the excuse for not being an understanding parent to our children? If this question got you thinking, maybe you might wanna have a look at those answers once.
Today, in this article we will discuss why we are getting so many differences with our children and how we should respond to that. Before getting into the topic we wanna say one more thing. It is not just the parents who are not understanding their children. But also the children are not accepting the fact that this world is whole different than it was for our parents when they were kids. Without being biased to one, let’s get into this topic and understand what the actual problem is and try to find the solution.
1. How Parenting Today is Different and Harder Than They Expected
We could say that as parents we evolve as time passes because we all become parents for the first time in our life. And it is harder than they expected. Most importantly, no one talks about how to become a good parent even though this is a very important thing to talk about. Also, there is no doubt that each and every generation has faced unique and different challenges in raising their children. However, parenting is undeniably different and often harder than it was for the previous generation. But is it really harder to raise our children than the previous generations? There are different takes on this question. We will only be able to answer this if we understand the previous generation first and how they got raised by their parents.
1.1. Let’s Understand the Previous Generations First
As we said, to understand the differences in parents today, we have to look back at how our parents or the previous generations have been raised and approached by their parents. As we can see in our parents and even in grandparents previous parenting methods were often influenced by societal norms, religious books, and cultural expectations.
Also, it is very important to mention that there was so limited access to information back in the time. Parents were prioritizing discipline and obedience. So parents of that time were seeing how other parents are controlling their children, and they thought this is the right way to raise them. As a result, as our grandparents treated their children, which are technically our parents now, they got influenced by them and thought this is the right way to do it. So we can say that parents feel societal pressure their being an upper middle class goal is doing it.
1.2. Generation Gap is the Main Reason Why Parents Treat Children Differently
As you can read in the heading, one of the key reasons for all this crash between parents and children today is the generation gap. Each new generation goes through different types of social terms, values, beliefs, and expectations so they all grow differently. Previous generations spent significant days like this.
As a result, this creates a huge gap between the experiences and it becomes the “generation gap”. Parents of today, who were raised in a whole different era when there was no such thing as the internet, findings reflect and are challenging to relate to this new generation.
This generation which calls themselves “Genz’s” has a whole different experience and needs because of the internet than the previous one.
1.3. The Impact of Social Media and Increased Information
When the internet came into this world, it changed the whole perception of it. Social Media platforms gave everyone the accessibility to all the world’s information, with just one click anyone can get anything in this generation.
The previous generation didn’t have all of this. No doubt there will be a conflict between the parents and children regarding their opinions and needs. While some parents have evolved in a very short time. And everyone now has social media, so the children expect their parents to evolve who didn’t or couldn’t like the others did.
1.4. Parents Prioritize Financial Independence More Nowadays
In today’s society, you can have an incredibly increased emphasis on financial independence and career choices than the previous time. Nowadays today’s parents spend more time trying to provide the best opportunities for their children and making career satisfaction than making an emotional engagement with them. Which requires long hours for both mothers and Fathers to get outside the home and work harder. Parents feel that doesn’t matter if their children felt unconditional support or not.
Paying people disproportionately but not spending a penny on their dream or passion. This situation has led to spending less time with their children during their early development years. This is so much impacting the relationship between parents and children also, creating additional pressure on parents to balance work life and family life at the same time. Which is so difficult to do. Because of all this parents are not able to provide emotional labor, guidance, or nurturing environment to their children.
And the time they got to spend with them they only talked about their education, extracurricular activities, and social development. In all this, they never get to ask what is going on in their children’s minds. Hence, children, today don’t have good relationships with their parents because they never got time to build one.
1.5. Even Mothers Today are not Able to Spend Time With Their Children
In previous times only fathers used to work to meet the end meals of the family. Now there are College educated mothers who want to help their husband to raise their children. Many mothers used to spend time with their children and raise them. But nowadays we could say due to inflation or for a secure future stay at home mothers become working mothers. It is a great thing that today’s moms working hard for their children, but because of this none of the parents are providing the more emotional engagement children need. Before time mothers feel increasingly torn by their kids’ physical safety. One mother can handle kids but it’s now getting difficult.
So we learned that not just technology is ruining the relationship between parents and children, But it is also working mothers and fathers not spending time with them. We discussed what is going wrong with this generation. Now, let’s talk about how we can fix this.
2. How Can We Resolve This Generation Gap?
We discussed how this social media and spending less time with children is destroying our relationship with them. So many parents have intense pressure and are struggling to understand their children’s perspective, on the other hand, children feel misunderstood and disconnected from their parents. However, it is not a lot harder to fill out this generation gap, if we start giving open-ended responses and less yelling at our children. Here are some major steps you can take and make a bridge by understanding each other’s perspectives.
2.1. We Think Our Own Parents Are Our Enemies
As we said earlier in the article, it is not just the parents who don’t understand their children differently but also children differently misunderstand their parents. Some kid wants helicopter parents and if they don’t become one, they start thinking that their own parents are our enemy. Parents never want bad things for their children. Things which are normal for this younger generation are not normal to their parents. And when parents try to stop them, children think they are controlling their lives and not giving them any freedom. Instead of being mad at each other, Parents need to understand their children’s perspectives and concerns, while children should understand that their parents’ actions are always rooted in love and concern for their well-being.
2.2. Children Younger Need More Time Than They Needed as a Baby
While it may seem controversial, when children are younger they need more more verbal affirmations than they needed as a baby. As a child grows older, they face a lot of challenges and responsibilities, which include study pressure, social expectations, and the pursuit of their personal goals. While parents are working hard for their children’s better future they should spend quality time with them and provide a safe space for open communication. I understand that this is difficult to do, providing both time and a better future. But who said being a parent is easy? Pew research center says only just one-third of parents can do this.
2.3. Create a Supportive Environment
Nowadays there’s so much pressure on us to walk according to society. Not even children, parents also feel this pressure of society that’s the reason why they make their children do things according to them. From managing careers to maintaining an upper-middle-class lifestyle, parents often find themselves taking on multiple responsibilities.
So as a parent, we need to get out of this bubble of society and try to understand what things make our children happy and create a supportive environment for them. Make sure you prioritize emotional availability for your children and take some time to actively listen to them.
If you follow these steps then you’ll definitely be able to create an environment where your own children will feel understood, supported, and unconditionally loved. And as a result, you’ll see your children will never try to avoid you.
In conclusion, being a parent is never an easy thing but it doesn’t mean you have to become a strict one. If you’ll be strict with your children, you’ll never be able to make a good relationship with your children. I’ll try to explain it by writing a line “The harder you’ll try to hold the sand, the more it’ll slip away from your hand”. Unconditional support and love can make things easy. So be easy but not careless. There’s a huge difference between being easy and being careless.
However, as mentioned it’s not just that parents need to be understanding. As children you have particular ways you can understand that they are reacting according to what they have seen in their life. Pew research center says, that today’s parents have different perspectives, and it is not that much difficult to explain them. Just sit with them, try to talk to them and you’ll understand that they don’t want anything bad to happen to you. They just care about you.
In short, it’s just some weekly talks and honest conversations that can make things a lot better than it is right now. The vast majority of parents don’t do it. It is the most important aspect of you wanna make things right. We are not taking anyone’s side, because both parents and children can take the first step and it doesn’t matter because you are family. Just talk nicely and enjoy having a family!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why is parenting so stressful?
Parenting is so stressful because of the responsibilities it brings it with itself. Pew research center says about it that not just that, but now you’ll have to be more careful, you’ll need energy to handle your kids and the pressure of making the right decision for their well-being and development. When it comes to these things at once then it becomes so stressful.
Well, in my opinion, every year of becoming a parent is stressful. But as some, some survey helps describe that the early years of parenting are more difficult than the later ones. Other research says it is an important aspect because newborn babies require more physical demands to get handled. And also, sleep deprivation in the early years makes it so stressful. Adult activities are easy to handle for a child.